Could the Phillies take advantage of the Cardinals fire sale?

Phillies GM Dave Dombrowski
ANAHEIM, CA – AUGUST 30: President of Baseball Operations for the Boston Red Sox Dave Dombrowski looks on during batting practice before a MLB game between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on August 30, 2019 at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

After the conclusion of the series in the 2022 playoffs, the Phillies and Cardinals have gone down very different paths.

For the Phillies, they would ride a wave of momentum to a World Series appearance. They would follow up that performance with a 48-41 start to their 2023 campaign.

For the Cardinals, everything has fallen apart. Between losing veteran stables in their locker room, inconsistent play, and the 5th worst record in baseball, St. Louis is going nowhere fast.

With St. Louis at the bottom of the baseball standings, President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak announced they will be sellers at the Trade Deadline. Could they possibly strike a deal with the Phillies?

Phillies v Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals’ Dylan Carlson (3) scores past Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 10, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Tale of Two Cities

Heading into the season, the Cardinals were my pick to win the National League Central.

Coming off an MVP season from Paul Goldschmidt, I expected the Cardinals to have a potent offense once again and to play stellar defense. Their organization has had a constant playoff presence since I can remember, and it feels like St. Louis is always competitive.

For whatever reason, it just has not clicked this season. I would argue that the loss of Yadier Molina in the clubhouse has really impacted St. Louis and that manager Oli Marmol has lost the team.

The Cards were just a couple of outs away from putting the Phillies in a 0-1 hole during the NLWC round last season. It is shocking to see how St. Louis has collapsed in just a short amount of time.

Regardless of the root causes for their bad season, it does not change the fact that St. Louis will be dealing players at the Trade Deadline. With a loaded roster and plenty of tradeable pieces, they could potentially run the market.

The Phillies need to do their due dilligence

With playoff aspirations, and some glaring needs, the Phillies should be calling the Cardinals.

While rumors of adding Paul Goldschmidt have made their way through the internet, I do not expect the Phillies to deal for the former MVP. On that same line of thinking, I do not see them making a move for Nolan Arenado, either.

There are several players that the Phillies could add; however, that won’t break the bank in terms of a return.

Tyler O’Neill – OF

One of the players that the Phils can poach from the Cardinals is Tyler O’Neill.

O’Neill is a two-time Gold Glove left fielder, who hasn’t played since the beginning of May with a back injury. He has been rehabbing in Triple-A and will be ready to return to the big leagues soon.

The right-handed bat is hitting .228 with a .620 OPS this season. Not great numbers, but again, he has been hurt for the majority of the season.

Phillies trade target Jack Flaherty
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jack Flaherty (22) aims a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Thursday, July 6, 2023, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

Jack Flaherty – P

Another option is Jack Flaherty, a right-handed starting pitcher.

Flaherty was one of the best arms in baseball just a couple of seasons ago but has also dealt with the injury bug as of late. He has been relatively healthy this season and is working his way back to the guy he once was.

With a 6-5 record and 4.27 ERA, he could slot into the 5th spot in the Phillies rotation. He is a free agent at the end of the season, which will keep his cost down.

Phillies trade target Tommy Edman
St. Louis Cardinals’ Tommy Edman (19) steals second base as Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson get the throw from home plate during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 25, 2023, in London. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Tommy Edman – Utility

Another potential option is Tommy Edman, a utility player for the Cardinals.

While Edman primarily plays second base, he can play shortstop and the outfield, making him a strong utility player.

Hitting .237 with a .693 OPS, Edman’s offensive output has not been great this season. He is a lifetime .263 hitter, but if he can regain confidence in his swing, I think Tommy could be a nice addition to the team.

He could be this season’s version of Edmundo Sosa, and Tommy would likely take Josh Harrison’s spot if this move were to be made.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire